I’m back. I haven’t posted in a while simply because I couldn’t. I had neither the time nor the words. Now we’ve hit 2011 and I have to decide whether it is worth keeping this blog. I will have more time to write this year and some really awesome things are coming up in libraryland (and lyndaland). I like to write and a few people seem to read it, so why not. In the words of the Everybodyfields, it’s so good to be home…
As for a quick 2010 recap, here’s the newsflash.
- I got married, bought a house, and moved. While our house rocks and the wedding was tremendous fun, those activities take up a ridiculous amount of time. Not doing them again anytime soon.
- In 2009 I was contracted to write a book with my friend Katharin Peter introducing non-data librarians to the wild wonderful world of data reference and data instruction. As you can imagine, this project took up much of 2010. The book will be published in March 2011, so if you are curious look for it in your local academic library (hopefully). Since finishing this book in October (although I’m still working on the index), I haven’t had much interest in writing anything, even piddly little blog posts. Mostly I just wanted to sleep. I seem to have gotten over that, but I have promised myself I will never again agree to a book project. Let’s see how long that promise lasts.
- I had some major swings in liking or disliking instruction in the fall. Some classes, especially with upper-level and graduate students, were kick ass. A couple were the most depressing and distressing experiences of my young life. (Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration). A goal for spring is to concentrate on mixing things up more in my lower-level political science sessions. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to rethink the same boring stuff I’ve been doing forever and I’m starting to bore myself. Wish me luck on this one.
- Libguides were introduced and I am in love. They are easy to use, accessible from anywhere, and do really cool things. When we first started with them, I thought I might move away from creating guides for each course. It hasn’t happened yet because I really like embedding my instruction activities into the webguide. I asked polisigh students what they think and only heard positive comments. So, I think this was a success and have to thank Amy Harris and Jenny Dale for getting our library to buy them.
- Research consultations are the new black. OMG, I’m so not kidding. I’ve always kept good track of my consults, emails, chats, etc (because I’m an ocd data librarian), but my 2010 goal was to document fully my personal research/reference interactions. And, lordy, it has been through the roof. Certainly I’ve not had as many as our business librarian. Still to go from 1 personal chat in spring 2010 to 8 in fall 2010 is awesome! And those were just the chats I actually picked up (I had a few at 2am on days I forgot to turn off my chat client, but I don’t count those). Also a good number of political science students feel very comfortable just walking into my office and asking “quick questions”.
- Traveling is fun and I traveled a lot (for me) in 2010. ALA midwinter, ALA annual, computers in libraries, IASSIST were the main conferences I attended. My data conference, IASSIST, was fabulous and informative as always. The ALA conferences were also good for networking and stepping out of the academic library world. I developed my own skills through the Emerging Leaders Program and its projects. I couldn’t justify going every time though because I had difficulty seeing how attendance would directly help my users and my position. But, this may be a side affect of burn out more than anything else After a year of relatively little travel (2011), I’ll probably be itching for more in 2012.
- What does in-house librarianship mean to me? Well, I’m still figuring it out, but I’ve been working on a pilot program where I serve as the “in-house librarian” for our Warren Ashby Residential College. In the fall this meant holding office hours (rarely attended) and working with the faculty in the college (more productive). I also trained a student who lives in the dorm to work with library resources. In the spring we are going to develop the program a bit more by putting my information in all of the ARC syllabi, doing short presentations, and giving a full library instruction session in at least one class. I also realized we were missing a bit of the virtual aspects of “in-house librarianship” and created a libguide just for ARC students. If the polisigh students are willing to ask questions through chat, then maybe the ARC students would be up for it. More to come soon I am sure.
Beyond committee work and all the other usual things, this was my 2010. Some exciting things are coming up for 2011: the book’s publication, a chapter in the works, IASSIST in Vancouver, some new instruction sessions on the books, and the development of our in-house librarian program. Let’s see where the road takes us…